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the ramblings of the girl and the truck driver #4

The truck driver:

It’s nighttime or morning, it’s Monday, I’m sure.

Time to go.

My alarm went off at 3am, at 4 I start to drive.  I’m running alone, tarped, low and heavy up along the front range.  I’m sippin on a 24oz cup of strong black coffee.  Hauling drywall she and I picked up down in Albuquerque Friday afternoon.

I’m headed for Idaho Falls, Idaho.  Be there tomorrow.  I’ll drive 11 hours today, stop before dark.

I brought up the idea around lunchtime, she didn’t like it so much.  “I oughta be in the truck tonight, sleep there, I’ll start driving around 3 or 4.”

Mic drop? No

More like awkward, hem and haw, this that an the other thing, better for this reason and that…none of it is good.  I’m leaving.

Don’t like the Monday morning departures, waking her up early and me feeling like I’m leaving late.  A work in progress.

As she drove off, dropping me at the truck stop, I did one of those, stand and wave til you lose sight of the one you’re waving bye to.  My family calls it, “the wave.”

I could see her arm stretched far out her window.

Sad.

Anyway, with the sadness, gratitude.

Gratitude?  Tones of it.  I love many things, and for now, I gotta go.

I packed mostly for my departure as soon as I got home.  Laundry, food and water.  Looked at my route up into Idaho, checked weather forecasts, planned it out.

The big moon shine bright cloudy moonlight against the backside of the front range mountains all along my early driving from Denver up into Wyoming.  It was an amazing glow.  I could make out the outline of various known peaks.  Ridges and valleys waiting for exploration.  Back before it was ruined, a man could find good water, game, plenty of beaver, no people.

The moon set as I crossed the state line.

Out my windshield, still a night sky brightened with stars and just barely the day begins in my mirrors as I change direction, west on I80, just a hint of light.

The truck feels quiet today.

I deliver shingles, drywall and farm supplies and many other things for all these settlers.  They keep comin.  I’ve never been to Idaho Falls. 

I love this.

Grateful.

 

The girl:

We get out of the truck exhausted on Saturday afternoon.  I go to work.

He says to me on Sunday as we stand in the kitchen, “I’m thinkin I’ll leave tonight instead of the morning…that way…”

I can’t hear him because I am using all of my resources (with little affect) to hold back tears that roll down my cheeks.  Emotion like a tidal wave that I am quickly stacking sand bags to keep back.  I am terrible at good bye.  I always cry…even if just for a minute.

I stand here looking at his beautiful eyes, sad, as they break this news to me.  My heart breaks a little as the inevitable good bye just barges right into the kitchen.

What’s the saying about walking a mile in someone else’s shoes?  Something.

How can we understand another or the world if we don’t do this, walk in someone else’s shoes.  I think how can we ever understand if we never do this for our partners.  I could be wrong, maybe, disillusioned possibly, but this is what I wonder about as we rumble along.  Is it necessary?  Obviously not.  Most of us go our whole lives without knowing what someone else does all day.  We don’t really know what their work week looks like.  We listen to what they tell us about their day.  Is that the same thing?  Eager to fix and make suggestions yet none of us knows what someone else’s day really looks like unless we live it with them.

So, after a week with him on the road, I stand here in the kitchen, listening to him quietly, tears on my cheeks, I know exactly what he needs and how critical the timing for him is.  He has to go.

It was a rare opportunity to spend time on the road together.  A human experiment, a relationship experiment.  More.  I watched him navigate and thrive in this foreign world of noise and motion. I lived in it with him.  It taught me about him and the work he goes off to do. I can understand, be more compassionate, I can learn how to love this man… when he’s away and when he’s home.  I know what he’s talking about.  It’s a lesson I think anyone could use.  When do we ever spend a week living in the world that is our partner’s work?  Who of us could open our own lives to another like that?

It’s an emotional day as he prepares to leave and he does what he can to make sure I am taken care of and things around the house are taken care of.

I take him to his truck.

Through tears I see him standing at the back of his truck on the road waving good bye.  The “Diller wave” is what they call it.  I stick my arm out the window and wave until I think he can’t see me anymore.  It’s like that sometimes.  The goodbyes, sad, as we both turn and begin to readjust ourselves to life without the other again and again.

Early Monday morning.  I think he’s already in Wyoming as I head off to a yoga class.  Grateful.  I sit quietly in the sun, close my eyes and exhale, coming fully into my day.

This Post Has 3 Comments
  1. this hit me hard in the feelings department this morning!
    my family and closest friends also do “the wave”.
    reading this, tears poured down my cheeks knowing the exact feeling of both the leaving and the standing still.
    i originally thought it must be a southern thing.
    i’ve had to explain it many times to people unfamiliar…
    but, after a lifetime of these leavings, i’ve realized what it really is to me…this waving.
    it is a promise of sorts. a reassurance. an encouragement.
    it is the kind of love that is as grateful for the last glimpse of each other before parting,
    as it is for the moment when you are together again.
    it is,
    “i will be here when you return.
    while you are away, should you wonder about home,
    picture me waiting,
    my arms in the air,
    to welcome you.”

    to this day, it is one of the most kind gestures of love i have encountered.
    many a dark night has been lifted, by the image of someone i loved, waving.

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